A veteran in frontier life and a pioneer of the Pacific coast, having wrought in various places and in the capacities that are familiar to every one who attempts to push into the wilds of nature, the subject of this sketch has made a record that is praiseworthy and he has been crowned with success. Mr. Standley has manifested the characteristics of his personality, vigor, good judgment and keen foresight, coupled with enterprise and thrift, which have made him one of the leading stock men and a large property owner in Wallowa County.
John C. Standley was born in Howard County, Missouri, on March 19, 1829, being the son of Jeremiah and Mary (Wilson) Standley, natives respectively of Tennessee and Kentucky. The father was a farmer in Howard and Scotland counties, in Missouri, and there the subject of our sketch received his education and remained until he had arrived at manood’s estate. It was in 1853 that John C. left the parental roof and undertook the arduous and weary journey to California, which in due time was completed, and the vigorous young man was soon delving for the hidden treasures of nature’s storehouse. This continued until 1861, when he came to Canyon City and took the position of salesman in a general merchandise store, continuing in the same for two years. Following this period he explored the adjacent country, and in 1865 landed in the Grande Ronde valley. In connection with his brothers, James H. and F.M., he acquired through homestead rights from the state and from the school lands twelve hundred acres of good land, and upon this fine estate the three brothers commenced farming and raising stock, being prospered in their endeavors. In 1880 John C. sold his interests to his brothers and came to the territory that is now embraced in Wallowa county and purchased a right on unsurveyed land one mile east from the present town of Wallowa. He took a homestead and preemption and later a timber-culture claim, thus giving him title to four hundred and eighty acres of land. He does considerable general farming, but his heaviest ventures are in the line of raising stock, and in this industry he has been eminently successful, owing to his untiring care for the affairs of business and wise management of his herds.
In the political realm Mr. Standley is active and pays much attention to the matters of government. During the years 1184-85 he was in the important office of county commissioner and it is much to his credit, as he has never sought political preferment of any kind, being called to this position by the requests of his many friends. Mr. Standley’s brothers are still living on the old home place, which is five miles north from Island City in Union county. There is no more substantial, capable and upright citizen of the county to-day than he of whom we speak, and it is with pleasure that we accord to him this representation in the volume of his county’s history, where he has wrought with such skill and faithfulness, winning the confidence and commanding the respect of all who may have the pleasure of his acquaintance.
Mr. Standley is prominently affiliated in fraternal relations and especially so in the A.F. & A.M. He was made a Mason in Canyon City, Oregon, in 1863, and became a Master Mason there in 1865. He came to the Grande Ronde and helped to organize the first lodge of this order in Lagrande, also organized the first lodge in Summerville and was there chosen the first master. When he came to Wallowa County he organized the first lodge, it being Wallowa Lodge, in Enterprise, and was again chosen first master. In 1895 he organized and established and was first master under dispensation of the lodge in Wallowa, which was named in his honor, being known as Standley Lodge. No. 113. In 1879 Mr. Standley was made a Royal Arch Mason in the chapter in Lagrande.